Orlando Magic Odds to Win the 2011-12 NBA Championship
Thursday, December 22, 2011
by WagerWeb Sportsbook
This team’s identity is in doubt amid speculation of Dwight Howard’s departure, whether as a free agent next summer or to one of the three teams on his list of potential trade partners during the season.
LAST SEASON: 52-30, lost to Atlanta 4-2 in first round.
STARTING FIVE: G Jameer Nelson (13.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.0 spg), G Jason Richardson (15.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.8 apg), F Hedo Turkoglu (10.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.2 apg), F Ryan Anderson (10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg), C Dwight Howard (22.9 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg).
KEY LOSSES: F Brandon Bass (trade, Celtics).
It’s not often a team with a dominant big man fails to reach the post-season, which bodes well for Orlando here in Howard’s walk year. He will be motivated by money and pride and should easily carry the club on his broad shoulders. Remember, the East isn’t exactly loaded with contenders.
For a team without any up-and-coming talent on the roster, Orlando must get the max possible from veterans who’ve seen better days if the Magic want to win 50 games. If nothing else, these veterans bring smarts and, with Quentin Richardson and Jameer Nelson, a degree of toughness.
Without a big-time scorer to compliment Howard, the Magic need to embrace defense like never before. This should be coach Stan Van Gundy’s message from day one. Of course, Howard is infectious in this regard. Now it’s up to Hedo Turkoglu and Brandon Bass and a few others, J.J. Redick? to get with the gameplan.
It’s nearly impossible to gauge where this team can go until the Howard drama is resolved. But if he stays throughout the season, there is potential for the Magic to be a threat. They still would likely need another big man, but Davis does bring some much-needed toughness and rebounding help for Howard. Also, the re-signing of Richardson and his promise to be more assertive offensively give Orlando stability at the guard spot as well with J.J. Redick coming off the bench.
- NBA Basketball Free Picks: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic
- NBA Basktball Free Picks: Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards
- NBA Las Vegas Odds: Orlando Magic (1-2) at Atlanta Hawks (2-1)
- April 18th NBA Basketball Odds: Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics
- NBA Basketball Picks & Tips: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic